Now that I’m a fancy art collector I have to hang out with other artsy people and cultivate my “eye”, if that’s the term that I want. Where better than at Frieze London?
I had never heard about Frieze London before two days ago when I read an article about how it was a major event in the London art scene, with 160 galleries from around the world, and how a new “woven” section was all the rage this year.
I queued up outside the tent in Regents Park with a bunch of people wearing black and looking tres chic (I myself wore jeans and a hoodie and handn’t shaved). Once inside we milled about in an artsy stupor taking in visions of rusty anchors with wide-brimmed sun hats on them . . .
. . . and trying not to step on all the dead birds.
At one point there were some fairly straightforward canvases that felt like something you might see in the contemporary wing of an art gallery . . .
. . . and some canvases that turned out, well, not to be quite what they seemed. This one, for example, looked like a giant messy painting, similar to the giant messy painting next to it . . .
. . . but on closer inspection, it turned out to be entirely embroidered. The discovery gave me a delicious little frisson that made me wonder whether it changed the way I viewed the piece enough to like it (answer: no).
A few stalls later, though, I found the first piece that I absolutely loved. A chair that had been twisted out of shape and given a dress and birds claws. I think it’s just terrific.
Also terrific, in a more terrifying way, was the Angela Su gallery showing some disturbing pieces that had been embroidered with human hair. They reminded me of the crafts that pioneer women created with hair from their brushes, only scarier.
Of everything I saw, there wasn’t much that struck me as something I would actually put in my house. Call me faint-hearted (or too bourgeois), but I just don’t think I need claw-footed chairs or hairy eyeballs being sewn shut. But there was one collection of beautiful architectural photographs that I thought was stunning. I could easily imagine having a set of these in a wall of my house.
But having just purchased two lovely artworks already at my own neighborhood gallery, I felt no need to pursue a purchase here. I wandered around some more and had as much fun watching the people as looking at the art (so many different performances of “the art-fair goer”!) until it was time to go home.